I used to have this discussion all the time. Until I started running game shops, I didn't know this phenomenon actually existed. But having dealt with literally thousands of gamers and half-a-dozen communities, I've become fully immersed in the culture. In fact, I've become so entrenched in the gaming world that I've even had to define this debate myself. It's called:
CHEEZY VS FLUFFY
Now I know this topic has been discussed to death all over the blogosphere and unlimitted number of forums. But I find that most people still don't clearly understand the difference. All too often people perscribe the two concepts to being similar, or being adversarial to one another, or (in some rare cases) simply discount the topic altogether. But I'll get to them later. In the meantime, let me be very clear and simply define the two terms.
This is the part of the theory that invites the merciless. Anytime a cheezy player hears the term 'fluffy', the derisive terms and general disrespect comes out. Too often, the tournament gamers (also known as the vocal minority) believe this to be the weaker side.
Fluffy is a termed used to describe archetypical or exemplified examples of an army. More specifically, when a player chooses a unit or special ability because 'every xxxx army would have one', then they've made a fluffy choice.
And there is the definitions. I know they're not complicated and terribly comprehensive, but they don't have to be. This is my wisdom after years and years of regulating this debate. And there are a few very important things that people forget, and that tends to lead to the friction in the gaming world on this topic. Let me tell a quick story to illustrate my point:
I presented my conclusion to the community at the end of the debate. I said this, very simply, "A cheezy player picks things from his codex based on how well it'll do in the game, and a fluffy player picks things from the codex out of a sense of background or storyline." In that most simple of terms, everyone was speechless. There was no refutation because they are fundamental truths. And they are fundamental truths that must be acknowledged if we are to get along as a gaming community. And with that, we all agreed and moved on with our lives. On fellow, well-known as a cheezy gamer and hateful of this whole debate, even agreed happily with our conclusion and finally accepted his lot.
"But his army is so cheezy that it makes the game no fun!" That's an argument that I've heard and even used myself.
"But my army IS what this army would take; I wasn't trying to be cheezy." That argument makes all the fluffy players angry because they can't defeat it.
"Why would they put this in the codex if they didn't want me to take it?" This argument, especially to a sales manager like myself, is rock-solid. You really can't call someone cheezy because they take something from their book. You have to look at why they chose that item.
Let's look at an example of a cheezy army:
Chaos Space Marines force with a Demon Prince, Sorcerer with Lash, three units of Obliterators, and las/plas Marine squads everywhere.
Now let's look at a fluffy army:
Iron Warriors with a Demon Prince, three units of Obliterators, and las/plas Marine squads everywhere.
Notice how they're the same, with the exception of one thing: the reason for including the units. The Chaos army has obliterators and lash-armed sorcerers because these things are undeniably awesome on the tabletop. However, the Iron Warriors take almost the same things because that's actually how Iron Warriors are organized. Does that mean that Iron Warriors are NOT cheezy? Gods no. All it means is that the motivation behind a person's army list is what determines the 'cheezy vs. fluffy' label.
I typically make fluffy armies. My armies are always filled with troops and led by captains of obviousness. The choices I make for the armies lists are very typically based on a Black Library novel I read or an imagining I've had. Every once in a while, however, I make a good army. My Black Templars are an example of that. I didn't choose a single item in that army because 'it's what BT would do', I chose the units because I wanted to win a tournament. That made that army cheezy. Ironically, I've won ALL of my tournement trophies using fluffy armies, just proving how much I suck.
|the only form of 40k I can win|